West Chester outlasts Shippensburg
Baer delivers game-winning hit in 10th inning for Golden Rams
BUTLER, Pa. -- Matt Baer drove an 0-2 pitch to the right-field wall with one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving No. 13 West Chester a come-from-behind 5-4 victory against Shippensburg inside Pullman Park at the PSAC tournament on Friday night.
With the win, West Chester (36-10) advances to Saturday and a rematch with Shippensburg (32-30) in an elimination game. The Golden Rams faced elimination twice on Friday and came through with a pair of wins to keep their hopes for a conference title alive. West Chester defeated Slippery Rock 15-6 in an elimination game earlier in the morning.
Chris Pula led off the 10th with a single through the left side and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Justin Lamborn. Matt Kirchner then reached on a fielding error, and Pula moved over to third. That is when Baer came up with his clutch hit off Shawn Peterson (3-1), who came on in relief at the top of the inning.
Though Baer provided the heroics at the end of the day, it was freshman right-handed reliever Matt McAllister, who should get the proverbial game ball. He tossed 6.2 innings of shutout ball, striking out 11 Raiders and scattering just four hits, to improve to 5-0 on the season. He was confident and in control on the mound for the Golden Rams, after taking over for starter Dave Stieg.
"Matt was outstanding," first-year head coach Jad Prachniak said. "He kept us in the game and gave our offense a chance to win the game eventually."
West Chester trailed 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Joe Wendle hit a two-run single with two outs and the bases loaded to tie the game. Reid Pulford and Matt Raimo got the two-out rally going with back-to-back singles, and then Jack Provine was hit by a pitch.
Pula homered to lead off the fourth and pull West Chester within a pair of runs.
Shippensburg jumped out in front with three runs in the top of the third. The Rams answered back with one in the bottom half of the inning. However, the Raiders scored another run in the top of the fourth.
Raimo, Wendle, Pula, Baer and Josh Heyne all finished with a pair of hits. Wendle added a pair of RBIs while Raimo, Pula and Baer all knocked in a run apiece for the Golden Rams.